Spring Break Fun!!!

4 May

Hello again to my blog! I have been actively avoiding updating my blog for several reasons. Here they are in no particular order:

1. I am too busy trying to plan lessons that will make students fall in love with physics

2. I am too busy trying to maintain my 4.0 GPA in grad school

3. I am too busy tying to train for my second half marathon

4. Because some of my students like to stalk me on the internet

In any case, I am currently trying to take a break from working on my massive grad school assignment so what a better time to update.

The good news is that the school year is almost over and I somehow have almost survived another year of teaching and grad school. A few weeks ago I went away to Ecuador for spring break. It was the first time I had been back since I went for my best friend’s wedding in December of 2011. As usual I tried to do as many touristy things in my home country as I could!

Tequila my old girl <3

Tequila my old girl <3[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2515" align="aligncenter" width="225"]My friend Sergio's daughter, Monica Charlotte <3 <3!! My friend Sergio’s daughter, Monica Charlotte <3 <3!![/caption] [caption id="attachment_2516" align="aligncenter" width="300"]My cousin's daughter Valentina <3 My cousin’s daughter Valentina <3[/caption][caption id="attachment_2517" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Playas Ecuador, fun, sun, hammocks and exotic fruits Playas Ecuador, fun, sun, hammocks and exotic fruits

Fun in high altitude in Alausi, Ecador at the Nariz del Diablo (Nose of the Devil!)

Fun in high altitude in Alausi, Ecador at the Nariz del Diablo (Nose of the Devil!)

Nariz del Diablo

Nariz del Diablo

More high altitude adventures. Chimorazo, Ecuador

More high altitude adventures. Chimorazo, Ecuador


The highest I have ever been, 5100m or 16,700ft. Chimborazo in the background

The highest I have ever been, 5100m or 16,700ft. Chimborazo in the background

Finished off my trip with an excellent beach adventure

Finished off my trip with an excellent beach adventure

Poscast Interview!

13 Mar

I have been so lucky to have gotten so involved in so many different conversations about women in the STEM fields. I was recently found via twitter thanks to the “rocket scientist” description of myself. The Teach for America Podscast @BlankShowRadio on twitter reached out to me not too long ago to ask me the same question everyone is always interested in….why did I leave my awesome engineering job in the space systems industry to become an under paid and under appreciated teacher?!?!?!



Hear my response to this question and a few more by pressing play on the player below. Since it is a podcast interview there is only sound and no visual. You can also listen by clicking the link directly below.

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Episode 101 – Who Runs the Future of STEM? Girls!


On a completely different note, I have been listening to the following song non-stop. It’s just so catchy and I am killing it with the dance moves. I have a burning desire to do this same dance in a grocery store just like her.

Sara Bareilles – Gonna Get over You



I Love Science

23 Feb

Teaching science at the high school level has given me a whole new perspective on the importance of marketing the importance of science literacy and education to students. Besides teaching physics content, I try to share as many interesting science related topics in our current events. I think what science needs is a better marketing campaign. Too many young people think that math and science are too hard to pursue as a career. I continually try to do my best to reverse this idea within my classroom.

I am completely obsessed with quantum physics. The complexity and beauty of special relativity, superstring theory and quantum physics fascinate me and continually blow my mind. Here is Columbia theoretical physicists Brian Greene promoting the awesomeness of science on the Colbert Report!!

The following video is Mayim Bialik who plays Amy Farrah Fowler on the Big Bang Theory talking about the importance and beauty of science. My favorite part of this video is at the 3:40 mark where she talks about a science career versus an acting career. Here exact words are:

“I had professors when I was an undergraduate that said, ‘why are you here if you could have the world of acting, why wouldn’t you take it?’ Being a scientist is a exciting, creating and interesting as being an artist.”

This quote immediately reminded me of when my students ask me “Ms. Chabebe why are you here teaching instead of  working at NASA?” My answer is always the same, I love teaching and I feel that it is the best career for me to use my passion and love for math and science. Teaching has been as creative and interesting of a career as it was to design spaceship parts!


3 Feb

I have been so fortunate to take part in the recent Teach for America S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) initiatives by sharing my story about having an engineering background and becoming a teacher.

Check out more about this initiative and my take on it (by scrolling all the way down!) here http://www.teachforamerica.org/iteachstem

Also, I had the opportunity to share a little bit about why I think mentoring is important. Read more here or check out my video!

  • For STEM news and updates, follow@TFA_STEM on Twitter.
  • To see what’s going on in our STEM classrooms, follow @TFA_STEM and #IteachSTEM on Instagram.

Physics Supplies!

2 Feb

I am on a mission to improve the lab supplies situation at my school. The small demonstrations and labs I have been able to scrounge together using the little functioning supplies we have, or supplies I have purchased myself, have made such a difference in my students understanding of what we learn in class. So, I have created a project on Donors Choose in hopes to start improving the lab supplies situation little by little. Please check out my page and pass along to anyone who might be interested in helping!!! Thanks

Make Physics Come Alive Right Before Your Eyes!!!

Give to my classroom by February 9, 2014 and your donation will be doubled thanks to DonorsChoose.org. Just enter the code INSPIRE on the payment page and you’ll be matched dollar for dollar (up to $100).

If you chip in to help my students, you’ll get awesome photos and our heartfelt thanks.

Girls in STEM

12 Nov

I was fortunate enough to attend the SHPE (Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers) Conference in Indianapolis last week representing Teach for America. My goal was to stress the lack of talented women, and mainly Hispanic women, that I have encountered in my education and career as an engineer and now as a teacher.

In addition to the conference, an article was published in the Huffington Post about my story and my reasons to switch from an engineering career to a teaching career.

Read the entire article by clicking the image below:

Girls in STEM Article



20 Oct

Holy moly, I can’t believe it. I got my blog back!!!! Long story short, I forgot to pay my domain bill and lost it, couldn’t buy it back right away due to some technicality where it had to be available for purchase elsewhere for 45 days, waited it out and now here we are! So lets get to the updates!!

Before the end of the summer I went to a whole bunch of weddings including being a bridesmaid in my friend Amy’s wedding!

Amy's Wedding!!!

Amy’s Wedding!!!

Kristen, Amy, me and Steph

Kristen, Amy, me and Steph


Caroline and Paul's Wedding!

Caroline and Paul’s Wedding!

Wedding Shenanigans

Wedding Shenanigans


Me with the giants: Ben, Amy me and Kristen

Me with the giants: Ben, Amy me and Kristen

After all the wedding shenanigan fun, I had to say good bye to the summer and hello to a new school year. I was terrified to say the least of having to do it all over again. What if I do worse than last year? What if the kids aren’t as wonderful? What if grad school is more exhausting? What if I can’t get used to my new classroom? What if……..

Well, despite all my worries, things are moving along and going well so far. My schedule is pretty hectic since I teach 3 classes in a row at the end of the day, I have grad school 3 nights a week and I still spend a lot of time planning. The kids are wonderful and my students from last year still visit so I’ve felt very lucky. We were recently tasked with having to plaster our bulletin boards with student work and an obnoxious amount of color. After the most stressful 2 days I managed to throw the most color intense bulletin boards ever. I was one of the few teachers who had an acceptable board according to our principle. I guess I lucked out when only being able to find supplies in all mismatching colors!

Bulletin Boards

Bulletin Boards

In other more serious news, my roommate Ari Spool is running for Mayor of New York City!! She is the smartest person I have ever met. She has an answer to ALL of my questions no matter what the topic. She was recently featured in the Wall Street Journal.

Write-In Brings ‘the Ruckus’Ari Spool knew her New York mayoral campaign was making headway when her Klout score, a measure of social-media influence, rocketed. Her marquee endorsement is John Lurie, the artist and founder of the Lounge Lizards jazz ensemble. Her centerpiece policy is mandating lilac uniforms for the police department.

Embedly Powered

via Wsj


Check out her awesome website, built by no other than my awesomely talented brother


Graduate School Part 2

11 Aug

I recently realized that there hasn’t been a year of my life since age 4 that I have not been in school. I know that this is typical for medical and PhD students, but I thought I would be done with formal schooling a long time ago. It’s been just over five years since graduating college and I am currently pursuing my second masters degree.

Although I already have a masters in engineering, that was not enough for the state of NY to allow me to pursue a teaching certification. Apparently I need to take education courses in order to be fully certified. Well, I just finished up my first full year of this education degree and so far I have maintained a 4.0. This semester I took Educational Psychology and the History of Education. Having to take classes that deal with understanding people, after taking all math and engineering coursework in college is quite a shift for me. This report card is one for the fridge!

Report Card

Also, I must admit that I was quite proud of my final project for my class about the history of education and the different theorists. We had to come up with  a visual metaphor to trace the roots/foundations of American schooling. The visual representation had to include at least four of the theorists we learned about and at least two significant tensions, questions and controversies in American education. This is what I came up with:

Visual Project

And yes, that’s me, the mad scientists. Looking back, I should have put a meter stick in his hands instead of a spatula. I am not very artistic but I am proud of myself for this I might even hang it up in my room. Just one year left of this degree, hopefully I can maintain the 4.0

Summer so Far

7 Aug

One of the perks of being a teacher is that after working insanely hard from September – June, I get the months of July and August off. Although I haven’t had to teach a class all summer, I have been in graduate school taking two classes as well as planning an getting ready for the next school year. But lets not talk about the less exciting things I have done this summer and focus instead of the fun things I have gotten to do!

The summer started off with an awesome journey to Michigan via Chicago to spend 4 days camping at Electric Forest. I went with a group of seven other friends and we spent 4 awesome days listening to awesome music and camping. Here are just a few of the pictures we took.

Eforest 2013


After the four days I spent one final day in Chicago before flying home.

With all my luggage at The Bean

With all my luggage at The Bean

Looking at Chicago from 96 floors up

Looking at Chicago from 96 floors up


Shortly after returning from that trip it was the fourth of July and I headed to the Jersey Shore with some friends. Spent four awesome days relaxing in the sun, in the pool and at the beach.

Fun in the Sun!

Fun in the Sun!


Not all was fun and games. I spent a lot of time doing school work and taking exams while all this was happening. I even completed an online exam on my phone while floating in the pool one afternoon.

A few weeks after that I took a trip to Montreal for my friend Amy’s bachelorette party. We spend 4 awesome days hanging out in one of my favorite cities, eating smoked meat at Schwartz, hanging out late night at the Saint Suplice, riding bikes 20 miles along Canal Lachine, eating delicious crepes, walking around Mount Royal watching the drum circle. hanging out on the Parc John Drapeau on St. Helen’s Island, eating delicious foie grias and pigs foot at Au Pie Du Cachon and walking around old town eating poutine.

Bikes, Notre Dame and Crepes

Bikes, Notre Dame and Crepes

From clockwise from top left of long picture: Kristen, me, Amy, Bassey and Stephanie

Clockwise from top left of long picture: Kristen, me, Amy, Bassey and Stephanie


And finally, the last adventure I have had until now was going out boating for the day with my old engineering design co-workers from Hamilton Sundstrand . We departed from  Old Lyme beach in CT and ended up at Napatree Beach in Rhode Island.

Beach Collage 2

Beach Collage 1


Unfortunately the summer is almost over and I just finished my last graduate class of the summer. I have a few weeks to get myself organized for the beginning of the next school year and then the craziness starts all over again, but with a new batch of kids! I’ll have to admit I am going to miss my old classes and will be lucky if this year I have students that are as awesome as they were.

Rocket Launching

24 Jun

I am happy to announce that I have practically survived my first year as a teacher. My students did better than expected on the physics regents exam and I am so proud of them for working so hard, they really made this an incredible first year for me! Aside from teaching, I have been taking graduate classes towards an education masters as well. I will hopefully be done with this degree by this time next year. However, I am enjoying the classes I am taking and had an awesome final project for my first summer session class that just ended.

My professor wanted us to create something that would be useful for us in our next year of teaching. After much debate and some  exceptionally boring ideas, he challenged me to build a bottle rocket launcher. So a week later and several trips to home depot, I present to you a very short compilation of what I have created

The best part of this first video is when I run in front of the camera post launch screaming “I lost my shoe!!!”

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This next one is a failed launch with my Assisstant Principal almost getting hit in the face with the launcher. Remember kids, safety first!

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Final launch where some students got interested in helping out!

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Thanks to the cameraman Ms. Monahan for some awesome commentary!

Here is a picture of the assembled rocket launcher
PVC Launcher